“Normal has left the building” – Summit Day 1

Meaning of Life 1.3 next week.  There’s just too much good at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit to not share.

“Normal has left the building.”

Bill Hybels, long-time visionary and leader of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, always starts things off with the first session, and he usually knocks it out of the park.  This year was no exception as he took us into the heart of the “rogue wave” of our day, the economic downturn that he dated from October 2008.   In characteristic fashion, Hybels called us all to see the rogue wave of this recession as a kind of perfect storm from which great things can emerge.  This would, in fact, be a theme throughout the day, that job-losing times, where’s-the-next-meal-coming-from times, and I-have-no-idea-what’s next times are exactly the times when the people of God have opportunity to be vehicles for God to do amazing things for all the world to see, much as He did in times of old.

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.  Hab. 3:2

Hybels also talked about the inevitability of cutbacks in budgets.   Clarity of focus in mission, vision, and strategy is critical, and having the right people “on the bus” is a must.  The next session was a roundtable about this very thing, Carly Fiorina, Patrick Lencioni, Henry Cloud, and David Ireland taking the conference through specific ins and outs of hiring, firing, and board meeting effectiveness.  This was fun for me because the videos I’d worked on in the spring were featured as springboards for these discussions, and it was fun to see the work done well.  Most memorable quote for me in this session came from Carly Fiorina, in which she said something like this:

The kindest form of management is the truth.

This is something the Lord has been hammering on my heart about lately, and it’s tough to do, but I recently told a friend of mine that kindness was very important to me.   But too often, I have shot for the truth and ended up somewhere close, but not exactly on it.  This may be The Lesson God has for me to learn this year.

More to come…

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